Virginia Chaidez, http://orcid.org/0000-0002-3585-9048
Date of this Version
Published in Journal of Community Health (2018) doi 10.1007/s10900-018-0533-x
A statewide Community Health Worker Employer Survey was administered to various clinical, community, and faith-based organizations (n = 240) across a range of rural and urban settings in the Midwest. At least 80% of participants agreed or strongly agreed that items characterized as supervisory support were present in their work environment. Thirty-six percent of respondents currently employed CHWs, over half (51%) of survey respondents reported seeing the need to hire/work with more CHWs, and 44% saw the need for CHWs increasing in the future. Regarding CHW support, a majority of respondents indicated networking opportunities (63%), paid time for networking (80%), adequate time for supervision (75%), orientation training (78%), mandatory training (78%), ongoing training (79%), and paid time for training (82%). Open-ended responses to the question “In your organization, what needs could CHWs meet?” resulted in the largest number of respondents reporting mental health issues as a priority, followed by connecting people with services or resources, educating the public on preventive health, family support, and home care/visitations. Our findings suggest that respondents, who largely have supervisory or managerial roles, view workplace environments in Nebraska favorably, despite the fact that nearly two-thirds of respondents typically work well over 40 h per week. In addition, CHWs could help address mental and physical health needs in a variety of community and clinical settings through primary and secondary prevention activities, such as provision of health screenings, health and nutrition education, connecting people to resources and empowering community members through these activities and more.